Cain stopped at a set of double doors, waiting. When everyone was caught up, the Velve they met outside stepped forward and opened the doors. “Entering; Emperor Cain Bloodfeather of Immaru and crowned Prince, Xerxes Bloodfeather!” He announced.
Cain strode forth, Xerxes quickened his step, he had been lagging behind him rather than at his side, a mistake when entering a room after being formally announced. Looking around, he quickly spotted the Blood Council and their apprentices. The apprentices wore either gold or silver circlets, shaped like crowns of thorns. The newer ones, or, rather the ones that were about to become higher in rank were to be awarded the silver ones as those already wearing the silver crowns would hand theirs down, accepting the more intricate silver circlets their mentors wore.
One Velve took him by surprise. She had pale violet skin, a rarity among the Velves, they generally had very dark skin tones, but never the black or dark greys of the Mal’ela. She was absolutely stunning, to be honest, she almost took Xerxes’ breath away. She had long, straight black hair, a small, slender nose, large, dark purple eyes, which stood out against her pale skin, making it even lighter. Her lips were fuller, her height was somewhere around his chest, he was tall for an elf though. Her body, under her dark purple dress seemed to be of slender build. He’s never seen Empress Zaanasha, but he was willing to bet this girl’s beauty rivaled hers. “It’s just an illusion…” He heard his father tell him quietly so only he heard.
Cain had also noticed the girl, and seen the way his son seemed unable to look away. She held her head lower, as all the apprentices did, a gesture from the man next to her, Councilman Leoric, had her holding her head up once more. Cain had remembered how Leoric was different from the rest, kinder, softer. He was also the head of the Blood Council. “Emperor Cain,” he said, bowing low to him. “Prince Xerxes,” said, acknowledging him, “it is my pleasure to finally meet you, many a word have reached my ear about you. A good heart, always much needed in these times of strife.” He added.
“So I’ve been told, now, what is it the Blood Council wishes to discuss with me that made us trample through the mountains of the Northeast all the way to the Eclipse Mountains?” Cain asked.
“Emperor Cain, sharp of tongue as always, we wish for you to witness the crowning of the new Blood Council members this night. It is of an unusual circumstances, our dear Akira, she will be taking Leoric’s place a-and skipping over the second half of her training.” An older, female Council Member rasped.
“Delores, there has been a change in plans, I shall stay on for another two years, Akira and I have discussed things, she is not ready yet. I am still kicking, I am not dying yet, so don’t go rushing my apprentice before her time is here.” Leoric spoke up. Xerxes remembered now, Councilman Leoric was the oldest member, and older than most Velves at 407 years old. Leoric had refused taking on an apprentice, saying he could look into the eyes of another and see their worth, and everytime he looked into one’s eyes, he knew they were not worthy of leading the Blood Council. If he had taken on an apprentice, it meant he found someone worthy.